Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Following Instructions

Let's flash back for a moment to the Christmas of 1990.  I was living in Green Bay at the time and a senior in college.  I lived in this 5-bedroom house with four of my besties and because most of my family was in Madison by this time, we'd meet at my house to open our Christmas presents to each other before going on to various family members' homes.

This particular year, both my sister Jen and I received awesome stereos for our gifts from Mom and Dad.  It was pretty early in the CD years and I got one of those CD changers with a magazine so you could play six CDs in a row, uninterrupted (how quaint that seems now!).

We were in the process of setting it up and I got all huffy because something wasn't working right.  My dad says to me, "Well, are you following along in the manual?" Of course I wasn't - why read the directions?  This used to irk my dad to no end.  :D

I still can't follow (written) instructions very well and if they're written in Engrish, forget about it.

Oh, but the old manuals are SO cool, aren't they?  You can tell some put more time and thought into theirs than others, but they just seem so much more cut and dry than their modern-day counterparts.  Of course, none of them relied on the Ikea-esque pictogram type instructions that you see now because people just assumed that if you bought the item in the US from an American company, you'd know how to read English instructions (and doesn't that seem quaint too!).

I have made a few pieces using old manuals, even if it's just snippets of one.  There's something about their authoritativeness that lend themselves so nicely to work that requires little bits of text.


  1. That five-themed piece of yours really looks great!

  2. Thanks Chris! I made that ATC about two years ago. :D